ALP reforms at odds with objective of super

It’s hard to see how many of the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP’s) proposed superannuation reforms will improve superannuation for Australians and the objective of superannuation itself needs legal clarification, the SMSF Association National Conference has heard.

“It’s hard to see how these changes are improving superannuation,” BT Financial Group chief executive, Brad Cooper, told conference delegates this morning. “They’re either ideology led or distribution led or budget led”, rather than meeting the broader objectives of superannuation, he said.

Of course, the objective of superannuation itself is often a political football, and SMSF Association head of policy, Jordan George, said in the same panel discussion that this needed to be legislated to ensure responsible policy-making.

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He said that it would help guide both effective policy and sensible implementation of possible legislative changes, which should be anticipated considering the recommendations made by the Productivity and Banking Royal Commissions regarding superannuation.

With retirement savings a key policy issue now, the panel agreed that legislating an objective could lead to clarity on the difference between superannuation and the Aged Pension from a policy sense.

This could prove useful when Comprehensive Products for Retirement Income (CIPRs) come onto Labor’s radar. While, as Mercer senior partner, Dr David Knox, pointed out on the panel, the ALP did not currently have proposed legislation developed on CIPRs, should it win the election this could need consideration during its three-year term.

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